Ghostcrawler on Talent Trees

Posted: by Frostheim

There was a great dev watercooler by Ghostcrawler, where he talked about some of the internal discussions of the new talent tree revamps for Cataclysm. He lists all the stuff they liked and thought were successes of the design, and then the stuff that they weren’t happy about.

To me, this reads a little bit like “Here’s what we’re thinking — now what do you think?” And I think the WHU should answer that question! But first, here’s what the big GC had to say:

You may have noticed we changed class talent trees for Cataclysm. We changed not just the trees themselves, as you might expect for an expansion, but the entire structure of the trees and the way you choose talents. Now that the Cataclysm model has been in play for several months, the team has been discussing what we like and don’t like about it, and I thought that might be of interest to some of you. As always with this series, this is design rumination, not a list of upcoming changes.
What Worked Well

  • The talent trees are simpler now, but without losing a lot of depth. Most of what we cut were passive talents that everyone took anyway, or really lame talents that did nothing.
  • Choosing your specialization at level 10 and not having to delay playing your character the way you want feels great. You can play your shaman as Elemental or Enhancement with the tools and bonuses to make either work.
  • Specs within a class feel different. This was a big challenge for the DPS warriors, warlocks, hunters, and rogues in particular. Nowadays those specs have different rotations, different strengths and utility, and a different flavor overall.
  • Mastery integrates into the trees well. We can delay the complexity until higher level, and we’re at the point now where it’s a competitive stat for many specs (though to be fair, not all yet).
  • There are some legitimate hard choices for many of the specs. Usually these come in two varieties: which talent you want before you can advance to the next tier of the tree, or where you want to spend those remaining talents after you’ve hit the bottom of the tree.
  • At the risk of catching flak for this statement, I feel that the game is as balanced as it’s ever been. When you look back at the vanilla or Burning Crusade days there were many specs that were just jokes and the difference between the highest performing and worst performing specs was on the order of 30-50% or more. Nowadays, players worry about 5-10% differences. Those are differences we still want to fix, absolutely, but we’ve come a long way. The talent trees have helped us do that.

What Didn’t Work

  • I’ll admit there are still a few clunker talents — those that are undertuned or just not interesting enough. There aren’t many though, and they’re relatively easy to replace.
  • On the other hand, the talent trees still have traps for the unwary. For example, a Fury build that skips over Raging Blow is making a serious mistake. That may seem obvious to current players but it’s the kind of thing someone returning to the game after a hiatus might not understand immediately. (After all, you didn’t robotically take Ghostly Strike just because it was a gold medal ability.) While there is something to be said for safe choices, it would also be nice if the talents we expected players to have were talents they always had.
  • Some players miss true hybrid builds. (Hybrid in this context means spending near evenly in two trees — I’m not talking about the more common use of “hybrid” as a tank or healing class.) To be fair, these builds were either not very competitive or were just cherry picking a few powerful talents in order to create something that was likely overpowered, especially in PvP. In other words, the reality of the hybrid build never lived up to the myth. But it’s fair to say that it’s impossible now to have a hybrid build, and we understand some players want them back.
  • I said above that there are tough choices within the trees of many specs, but there aren’t very many of them within each spec. Often it can come down to where to spend those last 1-3 talent points. While that was our goal, it would be even more exciting if there were more of those hard decisions. Hard decisions can be painful when you’re faced with excluding an ability or mechanic that’s fun to have. But overall we think hard, exclusive decisions are a good thing. They encourage experimentation and discussion and give players a chance to try out different things, all of which can help keep them engaged.
  • Even worse, one potential place to spend those points is in the first two tiers of the other trees of your class, yet those talents are extremely design-constrained. First, they have to be attractive to the main spec using that tree, so chances are you’re not going to find much interest in the healing tree if you’re a damage dealer (unless you want to improve your limited healing). Second, those top-tier talents can’t affect higher level abilities since the talents are available at level 10. Finally, because those talents are available early, they should really be relatively simple to understand for new or returning players. You don’t want to put complex procs with lots of exceptions and internal cooldowns that high in the tree. All of those reasons mean that it’s rare that there’s a true game-changing talent available in those first two tiers. This would be totally broken, but imagine you could spend those last 10 points anywhere in another tree. Much more exciting, huh?
  • This is a personal pet peeve, but I don’t like the talents that have a 33/66/100% chance to do what you want them to do. That’s just an awkward way of making a valuable talent cost more than one point. The new Cataclysm talent tree design didn’t cause this problem, but it didn’t fix it either.

The Future
This is the part where I’d really love to share our ideas for how we could address these problems, but some discussions are still a little too rough even for the dev watercooler. When we’re a little farther along, we’ll be able to share more. In the meantime, this is a great topic for further discussion. Players like to evaluate the talents in their particular class, but it’s also useful to evaluate the talent tree system as a whole. It’s an iconic design for World of Warcraft for sure, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.

So, what would you like to see changed in the hunter talent trees? Keeping in mind the design guidelines Ghostcrawler discussed above (particularly with respect to the top of talent trees) how would you tweak the hunter talent trees?

Certainly a couple leading ones in my mind are some of the most popular: get rid of Counterattack and give us something useful. In fact, use that talent slot to finally give SV a self-heal — and I’m okay if SV has the best hunter self-heal. They’re survival, after all.

Change the BM level 10 bonus ability. Sure, Intimidation is useful to a new level 10 hunter, but for most of the rest of hunter life outside of PvP, it’s not really used. I do not want to see Kill Command made the bonus, since we get it at level 10 anyway as I recall (unless we really do make KC unique to the BM tree, which I’m okay with), but honestly I’d love to see Bestial Wrath as the bonus ability at level 10 — something that really feels like it defines the tree.

I have a ton more smaller tweaks and balances and new abilities I’d do (stampede!) but enough from me. What would you guys like to see changed in the hunter trees — again, keeping design guidelines in mind. Remember, we aren’t talking about DPS balance here — that’s a separate issue — we’re talking about interesting talent choices.

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  1. BabbaLouie says:

    I am all for the removal of Counterattack and the SV hunter getting a self-heal (I was actually discussing that very topic days ago with some guildies)
    Also, if the dev team wont take the minimum range away, how bout a talent that u can choose that enables u to do some more close range damage?

    • Czanse says:

      How about a talent that adds a quick from the hip shot to disengage? Fall Back Shot would be cool and look awesome.

    • Kharima says:

      I would love to see couple of things for BM. I’m shocked that no one has ever brought these up. I think they would be very helpful.
      1) I think revive pet, for BM, should revert back to what it was in Wrath. For BM hunters, in Wrath, the cast time was 3.5 seconds. If your pet died for some reason it was very feasible to rez it and send it back with minimal loss to your DPS. It is now the same for everyone (nearly 10 sec.)and that is a long time to be out the fight if your pet dies considering it is a significant portion of you DPS. Granted I know our pets are much harder to kill these days and I’m glad for that but the occasional pet death still does happen.

      2) I would like to see Dash work like a combat aura for your pet and has a constant up time in combat OR change the cool down timer to where it is shorter than than the abilities duration thus having the same effect. A constant up time. (very much like our traps are now) I think would help greatly with target switching fights. Just my 2 cents.

  2. sregtur says:

    Make the talent trees actually mean something. An SV hunter should be all about surviving – self heal, boost stam on hunter and pet, give tenacity pet buff – and SV should be able to create food and drink (maybe from kills?). MM should be THE marks tree – if pet is close to target, hit % goes up (finally something to use prowl for), buff for ranged attack, only 1H weapons (canoneers only carried short swords in real life). BM should be THE animal handler – buff mounted movement speed, buff heal pet, soothe NPC animals (reduce aggro?), able to tame feral druids ;-)

  3. Snakefinger says:

    I want a battle rez for SV! Call it Ranger Medic or something. A self heal would be nice too but I wouldn’t use it nearly as much as I would a battle rez. FD, get key party member back up, avoid wipe.

  4. Literaltruth says:

    I’ve recently been leveling a new Hunter and the one thing that I would say really needs fixed is the Survival tree, especially the second tier. You get a really riveting choice of talents at those levels that mainly affect traps that you don’t even have yet. Also, until level 69 – and especially before you get trap launcher, L’n’L is just a really big pain in the arse and I’d like to see Black Arrow earlier in the tree for that reason.

    I know it’s not talent issue – but also MD is given to you way, way too late. MDing to your pet while you’re leveling isn’t something that you should have to wait until level 76 to do.

    • Zippø says:

      /sign for the MD change.
      not directly hunter-related, i was leveling a warrior tank recently, and it was extremely annoying to have hunters pull aggro all the time…while i admit i’m not an expectionally good tank, i do understand that there’s little fault with me when i can hear two hunters pulling their bow strings for multishots while i’m waiting for the last two seconds of my charge CD…

      other stuff…idk, SV selfheal would be nice, sure. maybe something more useful than CA in the MM tree, maybe a tiny small version of artisan quiver, or a small buff to crit as long as hunter’s mark is active on the target, 2,5-5% or something, not a buff for very specific shots which benefits MM the most fo a small part of the fight..

      as for BM, i got no ideas, don’t play it, and my project of a second BM specced hunter somehow stalled at lvl 1

  5. Venom says:

    Either give SV self healing abilities or rename it to something else…

  6. Bozanimal says:

    I’d like a spec that allows me to fill another role.

    In WotLK the RDF single-handedly changed the way I played WoW. However, the DPS queue is ridiculously long post-Cat. As much as I love the variety of DPS specs, do we really need three specs that – at the end of the day – do the same thing?

    I don’t care is it’s BM to pet tank or Survival to avoidance tank, I’d like something allowing us to queue in an alternate role in a way that makes sense. Besides, if a Druid can pretend to be a bear and tank, why can’t my ACTUAL bear tank?

    Bah, it’ll never happen, but one can dream, right?

  7. Steelhunt says:

    One thing I realised that survival needs, during some hardmodes (mainly Maloriak), is some interesting and short dps cooldown. While MM has the 3 min RF and readiness, and BM has Wrath, I found the lack of a proper and unique cooldown apart from a 5 min RF quite annoying (while warlocks were all discussing in vent of coordinating many AoE CDs for burn phases :( ). Something like increase agility by x% like DKs Pillar of Frost, or [Elemental Catalyst] – increase your elemental damage by x%, or whatever, with a 2 or 3 min CD.

    • David says:

      Well you already get this with the Synapse Springs, but it’s not a hunter specific enchant.

  8. Inune says:

    The hunter trees in general are just abysmal compared to the talent trees of some other classes. Just a single look at Counterattack – possibly the most useless talent in the entire game – or at tier 4 MM sort of displays the fact that hunter trees don’t get as much dev time as other classes do.

    There’s the weird thematic questions:
    Why is Sic ‘Em in MM?
    Why is the spec themed “Survival” the only spec in the game with no self heal?

    And then there’s the head-shaking “wtf, man, wtf” questions:
    Why does TSA give no personal benefit when literally EVERY other raid buff talent does?
    Why does the entirety of the Termination talent effectively give benefit for only 25-20% boss health?
    Why is there a Kill Command talent deep in MM that even PvP’ers go “meh” at (
    Why is Black Arrow, a 31 point talent, even up for debate compared to Explosive Trap when it comes to the SV rotation?’

    That last question just makes me /boggle. They strip away our passive parry, they change the parry component of deterrence, and for some reason Counterattack still works off of parry. Why? Whyyyyyyyyyy.

  9. Focushot says:

    I would prefer they fixed the BM tree before they tried to do anything with SV.

    First off Intimidation as the level 10 skill is stupid. Also, if your gonna give each tree a signature shot then do so across the board. I hate that KC is the BM ‘go to shot’ when MM and SV can use it.

    Here is what I like to say. First off, either remove Intimidation all together or make it a some sort of stun or root that is only for BM. Put in for 1 point, given us a little more of a choice.

    Replace Intimidation as the level 10 skill with Bestial Wrath and add in that you can tame any pet in the game (this could mean adding new pets that are BM only pets earlier in the game level wise)

    As for KC, make it like MM and have it be the last talent in the tree and give it something special. Totally change it form its weak state. And I mean weak in that you can’t even use it until your pet in close enough.

    Make it a debuff that will last until your pet attack making that said attack always to crit. I mean it’s called Kill Command for got sakes. Why do I have to have my pet already attacking to use it? I should be able to use KC and then send my pet in so his first attack is a crit.

    Make it happen Blizz.

  10. Blueberrie says:

    In my fantasy land, BM would be a tanking tree, where a pet set to “Follow” would add to the parry, dodge, etc. of the hunter, and revolve around the correct use of intercept-themed cooldowns and MD-themed threat generation tools. Make a new level 10 special ability, give it the “Spirit Bond” name, and have its sole effect be to make the hunter and pet share a health pool, so the healers don’t complain about having to heal a pet.

    Meanwhile, in reality, I really like the MD at a much lower level, for the sake of the whole community. Between Concussive Barrage, Tranq Shot, traps and Distracting Shot, I feel like the class isn’t really lacking for utility so much as our utility is more situational than, for example, a boomkin’s. I’m not sure we really deserve (let alone need) a battle rez.

    I’d be more in favor of some sort of mitigation cooldown, in the style of Ice Block or pally bubble. Perhaps something that makes us take 50% damage while using FD or Deterrence. Currently, if there’s a high damage effect going out, and I can’t deterrence it the way I sometimes do Valiona’s breath in a pinch, I have to try to dance at the edge of melee range and make use of a glyphed Raptor Strike. It’s klunky, requires a comparatively large amount of setup, and at only 20% mitigation, it’s not always enough. My raid leader is making noises about grinding out a Mirror from Hellscream’s Reach, just so I have a bigger cooldown to use, before we pull heroic Nefarian with his horrible crackles of death.

    • Blueberrie says:

      HURRDURR I’m good at reading my own posts for clarity!

      What I meant was, replace counterattack with some sort of powerful damage mitigation cooldown, in the style I describe above. I think that fits better with the survival theme than a self heal.

  11. Focushot says:

    To add to it, this is what I think Kill Command should be and I personally think it be awesome.

    Kill Command
    40 Focus
    Instant cast 6 sec cooldown
    Give the command to kill, marking the target causing your pet’s first attack to be a instant critical strike plus dealing (x damage base on level) to it’s target.

  12. Fawatam says:

    Bm Needs the most work. The talent trees are clumsy, the rotation is pretty boring compared to SV and MM. If not for Spirit Beasts and a few rares, I’d never go BM. (Oh wait, that’s why all those Spirit Beasts are stranded in my stables) I like that BM is pet focused, but I want to feel that my pets are doing more work because I am making them do so.

    BM:Improved Mend Pet isn’t very helpful any longer. As mentioned, Intimidation is a pretty lame talent bonus. It should be swapped with Bestial Wrath. This decision still astounds me. Killing Streak is a nightmare. Whenever it procs, I have to stop what I’m doing to make sure I have enough Focus and just barely can get the Kill Command off before the timer wears off. Simple fix. Keep the talent as is, yet make it reset the KC cool-down and have it cost Zero focus. Why not, it works for Explosive Shot) Speaking of Kill Command, it should be BM only. It’s typically a massive dps loss for the other two specs to use it, compared to their other Focus Dumps. Couching Tiger, Hidden Chimera is just bad. They never seemed to really know what they wanted to do with this talent. Kindred Spirits just feels like a waste of two talent points. Reduce Ferver’s cool-down. BM Still needs some decent AoE. (And it should not be required to have a specific pet for AoE situations.) Why not a night crawler-esk pet frenzy attacking all enemies within range bouncing from one to another, or even a stampede type ability?

    MM:Get rid of Resistance is Futile. Improve Master Marksman. The proc rate is WAAAY to low, especially with the Careful Aim nerf, we need to get a way to keep Aimed Shot in the rotation. This way it will work more like Pyroblast (Which admittedly needs to hit a little harder). I’d also like to see the buff’s timer increased beyond 10 seconds. (Pyroblast is 15).

    SV:Point of No Escape is pretty worthless, even in PVP. Trap Mastery is pretty lame and is only taken for the Black Arrow buff. As mentioned, replace Counter Attack. Get a self heal in there. I’d also like to see something that procs to provide SV with a bit more focus. They’re too starved to keep up SS, BA, and Explosive Shot. Arcane almost never gets used.

    Fix Traps from being resisted (Really?), and fix Feign Death’s fail chance.

    • Ambev - Frostmane says:

      Just a note fawatam. If you’re under the impression Survival is focus starved then A) you are doing it wrong or B) the people telling you this are doing it wrong. You mention keeping up serpent sting, which once applied should be kept up via cobra shot in your normal rotation. If you need more information on the “proper” survival rotation frost has a lovely guide on that. I’ll agree that arcane is rarely used, however I’m sure this is intended. Afterall, it is called the focus dump not the ability you can’t use because you don’t have enough focus.

      I’ve been playing at moderately high levels of progression, generally as survival, since vanilla (yes even during the BC BM rampage). I honestly feel that survival is in the best state it has ever been.

      • Fawatam says:

        I guess the best way to explain it, is that when I’m in Survival, It FEELS like I need a lot more focus than I get. When I’m in MM, it feels just right. I know the rotation, and I know I’m not doing it wrong. It just feels like I never have enough focus to use the shots I need to when they come off cool-down.

    • Hunterfaller says:

      Couching Tiger, Hidden Chimera is a pvp talent… I’m sure I drive melee classes insane when it seems like I’m disengage every 10-15secs (glyph plus points into survival tactics.)

  13. Dharion says:

    Odd that this should come up now. I’ve been working on something, strictly for fun, regarding the Hunter talent trees. To my mind some talents just do NOT belong in the trees they are currently a part of. To name just one example, One With Nature from the Beast Mastery tree. Seems that would be more of a Survival talent, much like Sniper Training seems like it should be in the Marksmanship tree. Just some thoughts I though I’d share.

  14. Victorgrim says:

    I always wondered why bm hunters don’t have an ability that is similar to Demo locks. It would certainly make Euripides happy- he could embrace that Feral stripe he wears to proudly.

    The Beast Within
    You unleash your aggression and your animal instincts kick in. You do crazy melee damage and immune to fear, sheep, mc. Though, I’d rather have some dual wield axes or fist weapons than going postal with a staff or pole arm. Maybe you just get big claws and ignore the melee weapon.

    Then make bestial wrath the lvl 10 bonus and make The Beast Within the 31 point talent. The only problem is the what to turn into since worgen is off the table. Maybe BigFoot?

  15. Dmok says:

    A couple of my thoughts concerning the state of hunter talent trees.

    1/ I think they need to shift around a couple of the talents to fit them more into the tree they should be. For example, I have always seen the MM tree as the “Stand and shoot” tree, with survival being the sort of “being prepared” tree. BM at least fits the idealogy of the tree the best of all 3. With that in mind, I would ideally make the following changes:
    – Move readiness back to the SV tree. Also gives SV an actual DPS cooldown somewhere within the tree (OR survivability CD. Imagine that!)
    – Move sniper training to the MM tree. Especially with aimed shot hard-casting being plausable .. the 2 sort of have this synergy with each other.
    – Resistance is Futile should really be in the BM tree
    – Either replace counter-attack with Readiness, or give it a healing component. If it was a kind of “improved wing clip” talent that also healed you, I could see it being useful.

    2/ I agree with the suggestion above to replace Intimidation with Beastial Wrath. Big Red Pet is a big staple of the BM tree. The Beast Within talent is still a good choice to leave where it is, but give levelling hunters the joy of big red. Intimidation could then be an “optional” talent, similar to say Silencing Shot.

    3/ I like how all 3 specs have access to Kill Command. I’m probably one of the only people who approve of this, but at least for levelling purposes you feel like your pet is involved in the process.

    Overall, the trees do feel very “comfortable” on the whole though. At least MM and BM do about what you expect them to do … though I do miss the old days of SV when it truely was the more “survivable” tree.

  16. JC Sway says:

    I’ve been saying replace counterattack with an interrupt. Interrupts are so important these days, and I think it still fits the survival theme. We already have bandages, healthstones, and potions for heals. Often as SV I am wishing I had an interrupt.
    I’d also love a talent that made Camouflage useful.

    • Ambev - Frostmane says:

      Somebody give this dwarf a cookie! A talent to improve Camo how clever!

    • Fawatam says:

      Camo needs a lot more than a talent to make it useful!

      • Knurlurzhad says:

        I personaly find alot of use for camo, especially in 5-mans. It’s sort of a bring your own LoS for a pull with caster mobs, I just trap and everything runs to try and beat on me when my tank picks it all up. I’ll admit though that they really need to improve on the “reduces range at which monsters aggro” mechanic. Right now it hardly does anything and I feel like a level 60 rouge trying to stealth through Tol Barad.

  17. Ismena says:

    I’ve been leveling a new hunter since Cata came out in a spec I’ve never played before (BM). I’m in the low 60s range now, and have been doing mostly random dungeons to help me level. I’m amazed at how many times I pull aggro from the tank (cannot wait to get MD back in circulation) or end up using my pet as an off-tank and really do need that Intimidation talent. Maybe I’m being a huntard and a bad hunter in pulling aggro and I need to relax a bit. But often times I wait what feels like forever before firing a shot and after just that one shot I’m pulling aggro off the tank. And I’ve found this happening with tanks that are both higher and lower than my level. So for me, Intimidation is extremely important and I use it often.
    But maybe I’m doing something huntardish and should be taken out back and whipped!

    • Honestly, if you’re waiting to shoot and pulling aggro on the first shot, the tanks probably aren’t putting out enough threat. Tanks in the leveling queues tend to be of . . . variable quality, often because they’re still learning to tank. Even the good ones don’t have all the tools they need yet, and gear disparity can be a big problem — particularly if you have BOA gear and they don’t. I’ve leveled several tanks, and it often feels like the BOA gear is the only think standing between me and madness.

      That said, as Frostheim has said, if you’re putting out too much threat you can always scale your DPS back. Just auto-shot, and if that pulls off the tank then auto-shot as long as you can get away with it and then quit shooting while the tank builds up threat.

      • Ismena says:

        Thanks for the advice. I’m starting to be more vocal about my concerns, asking tanks up front if they are vets or noobs for the particular dungeon. I don’t mind running with noobs (or just noob tanks) as long as I know ahead of time so I can react accordingly. This hunter right now does not have any BOAs cause its a different server, which is probably a good thing.
        What really annoys me is when a noob tank, former DPSer, ques up as a dungeon guide and then says they’ve never run the dungeon ever, let alone as a tank. They can’t seem to figure out how to do the pulls correctly. As I’m higher and higher in level, the pulls are more complicated. Running them solo with a pet taught me how to pull better and how important a good pull is. So it frustrates me to no end when players pretend to know everything and we wipe 4 times in Mana-Tombs.
        Ok – end rant. :D

  18. Clinh says:

    I do like many of the ideas already suggested. The current setup where we have 3 trees all trying to dps in different ways is just dumb, and even dumber when Blizz are expending so much time & effort in trying to make them equal dps, how many other classes have trees like that? What’s the point in it all? Lets make BM the tanking tree, MM the DPS tree and SV just that, survival. Oh, and lets all be able to tame exotics (good grief we have a whole tree culminating in allowing you to tame pretty things? Why?).

    • Sidoen says:

      Many of the exotic pet families have buffs that are not available otherwise. So yeah while I wish I had more use for my exotics (I only keep one because I’m mostly in SV, I do bring a core hound which rarely gets used) it does make sense the way the system is set up now.

      Hunters (MM/SV) can bring many buffs to the team. BM hunters however can bring a lot more and some of the better ones to. So that talent you waited so long for in order to tame pretty pets also lets you bring some of the more powerful buffs. Not to mention the four extra points you get to spend in the talent tree.

  19. Ril says:

    SV: more self heals, survival abilities and maybe even a self-dispel of some sort. not being able to do anything about dots even with deterrence sucks (this could actually help all specs). oh, and an ultimate that deals significant damage. BA isn’t a really fun dot. explosive shot could need some weapon damage scaling too.

    MM: don’t know enough about this spec. more sniper

    BM: some sort of call-more-pets-cooldown. this would be incredibly fun. also, the BM tree has too many useless talents (10% mounted speed for 2 points, really? other specs get 20). pets should scale with weapon damage too. KC should become BM only. better mastery would help too… oh, and dual wielding short-ranged pistols and arbalets (van helsing anyone) would be great.

  20. On the topic of wonderful fantasies, I’m with the crowd that would love to have hunters given (officially) the ability to tank through the BM tree. Ideally it would be designed like feral druid or the old DK trees, with BM-DPS still an option.

    Regarding an SV self-heal — what about a First Aid-themed talent that made bandages better? The ability to use a bandage as an instant every 1 – 3 minutes comes to mind. It would be a bit unconventional, in that class abilities don’t usually interact directly with professions, but I think it fits the Survival theme pretty well.

    • Rhaegar says:

      @Erich T Wade,

      I like that idea of SV getting fancier bandage abilities. Change cool downs for them. And even better: damage doesn’t interrupt bandage healing. Maybe with T1 being no interrupt if under 20% health, T2 won’t be interrupted if under 40% health; and T3 the SV hunter using a bandage won’t be interrupted if under 60% health.

      …this actually seems like it could be one of the easier suggestions to implement while also completely changing the SV hunter’s actual survivability.

      …and of course SV hunter’s bandages would remove poisons.

      …and the SV hunter can use bandages on others with greater effect.

      Wow, lots of ideas can be had from this one subject. Good brainstorm, Erich.

  21. Sidoen says:

    There are a lot of good ideas in here. Though one thing that has not come up yet.

    I think after you have spent your 31 points, the other talents from the first two tiers from the other two specs should be cast together into a common pool to select from. Now, tier 1 talents are still tier 1 and the same with tier two. However the talent point spent requirement for t2 talents is no longer restricted to the same spec.

    For example if you are MM and you want spirit bond but don’t want to spend points in any other talent rather then one with nature, then you could put two points into, say Hunter vs wild. Once you had done this it would count as 5 points spend in t1 talents and the t2 talents should open up.

    Just to be clear, obviously talents points spent in your own spec would not apply to this system. So you would not be able to go to 31 points, then spend some more points in your own tree in order to help open up t2 talents in the other specs.

    This works for ALL classes to, which should at least in theory maintain the balance that Blizzard is trying to keep. I think it’s suitable as t1 and t2 talents are not game changers and after you have hit 31 points you have already earned the right to use t2 talents long ago.

    Other then this, I agree with almost everyone else, although I object to any sort of shape-shifting ability, I look too good as I am to want to look like anything else. I’m not fond if the idea of using our specs as anything other then dps either. We are a specialty class, we are ranged physical dps. Sure it’s nice to solo and do the occasional tanking job but that’s not who we are. Different flavors of dps is why i play hunter!

    Counterstrike should be removed and replaced with an interrupt. That suits SV theme just fine, I don’t think SV needs a self-heal just because it’s called SV. We can complain all we like about our classes “horrible” talent tree but really… we are in the top of the damage meter. Just because some names don’t make sense and you don’t get some abilities at sooner levels doesn’t mean it needs fixing. I think Blizzard long ago abandoned theme relevant in favor of balanced play.

    I would like serpent stings dot to be reflect-able but I can only think of one fight for that so not really.

    Intimidation should never have been BM’s signature ability. I believe that Blizzard already agrees with this to don’t they? Bestial Wrath is definitely that tree’s identity. I can only imagine that it wasn’t used because they thought it was to much power to soon. Which is fixable with some rescaling or perhaps the immunities are slowly adopted in at later levels.

  22. Sidoen says:

    I change my mind. BM should not get bestial wrath, they should get exotic pets. The four extra points would be more useful then occasional dps bursting to I imagine.

  23. Nightlore says:

    I’d like to see counterattack turn into parry chance percentage increase that would also eliminate the close range issue in pvp.

  24. Nightlore says:

    If they did make a significant change to counter attack (20% parry and elimination of minimum range) they should make it first or second tier SV talent to make it available for all speccs.

  25. Sidoen says:

    That’s for PvP right? I’m pure PvE and I don’t really see the big deal with min range. I know a lot of people are complaining about it for a variety of reasons but honestly I don’t really think it’s a big deal. We can still shoot while close to our target, it’s never been a real issue for me.

    I’m not considering fights that I have not already learned mind you. I’m not really considering those to be valid metrics to measure this by.

    • Nightlore says:

      This would be a change mainly for PVP as the minimum range often complicates hunter pvp dramatically, compared to other classes. However, there would be benefit to PVE as well. Blizzard has done a great job in Cataclysm to make it so that in MOST fights minimum range doesn’t matter. For instance, you can stack up with the rest of your team right next to Chimearon and blast away during feud. However, there are still fights where minimum range plays a part (Magmaw’s exposed head for example). This change could be a good one for all speccs in both PVP and PVE, though it may be 1 talent point that may not be useful for all boss fights.

  26. ShroudViper says:

    Scrap bombardment and/or Resistance is Futile and put in this :

    Point Blank Mastery (2 point talent): Reduce the minimum range of all shot by 3/6 yards

  27. Bewildered says:

    I have been reading WHU for a long time, but this is my first post. Yes there are many aspects of all trees which need revision, but it also seems to me that some players might not fully understand the functionality of some talents and abilities. Camo is amazing in PvP when used right. it gives you a good chance to be the one who lands the first hit, and with proper use of call pet and feign it can save your skin. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera is (IMO) one of the most important abilities in PVP as BM. When being trained by multiple melee in a BG Freezing Trap wont save you, but a glyphed Raptor Strike followed by Deterence should buy enough time for the melee classes to bring your Disengage CD back around. On a side note, macro Wingclip to your Disengage… it helps so much in PvP and any farming, grinding, extreme soloing situations that go sour.

    As far as talent tree revision:

    Beast Mastery.
    Needs some serious fine tuning.
    Spirit Bond should be slightly improved, only cost one talent point and be further down the tree to keep it unique to BM and out of subspecs. 3% every 9 secs would probably improve it enough.
    Killing Streak buff needs to last an extra 2-3 seconds.
    Resistance is Futile should be in the BM tree.
    New Ability: Frenzied Swipes: placed where Spirit Bond is currently, but requires points in Frenzy to be available. Causes your pets Basic Attack to hit one additional target for each stack of Frenzy consumed. Lasts 15seconds. BM has no co-efficient with multishot and this would help its lackluster AoE while also giving us an alternative to Focus Fire, thus more reactive play.

    Overall, pretty good right now, but…
    Master Marksman should be 33%,66%,100% (IMO)
    Marked For Death should also proc off Multishot, apply to multiple targets and last longer than 15 seconds.

    Quite lacking compared to MM and BM since last nerf.
    Counterattack (pfft) should be Improved Wingclip – 5 second immobilize. The hunter community has been crying out for the removal of Counterattack for too long.
    Resourcefulness should be 3/6/9 seconds.
    Black Arrow needs more damage/better scaling and it also would make more sense to me if it had a health leech effect: Heals hunter for X amount of damage done.
    New Ability: Immolator: Increases damage and duration of Immolation Trap by 300%. This Trap is not on my bar in any spec, and maybe it’s because i haven’t found a use for it in Cata, but to me it just seems to have become defunct.

    Sorry if this is overly long. I have many more ideas, but am already feeling like this is a TL;DR post.

  28. sregtur says:

    I like ShroudViper’s idea … how about a 3 point talent in the SV tree — Blunderbuss – range 2-10 yards – inflicts +3%/6%/12% added DMG and +1 crit
    I also support the move of MD to level 10 … its crazy to have it up where it is … obviously a balancing decision not a play style or class feel one.
    If the objective of the redesign in Cata was to start you off as a hunter then make it so…
    I also was thinking of the whole mount thing .. should a hunter have to BUY a mount? Especially a non-domesticated animal one? How about Tame Mount talent … ride anything you can tame.

  29. Bewildered says:

    I assume you mean Black Arrow. As i said, i think it needs better damage, which is PvE relevant aswell. As for the leech effect; the point is SV has no self heal, which is kind of strange and this would remedy that to some degree. The only other improvement i can see for Black Arrow would be to take it off the Fire Trap CD, but that may be to overpowered, giving us Explosive Trap and Black Arrow DoTs on the same target.

    • JC Sway says:

      No, I mean Camo. It’s the ability all hunters get at 85. I’d like the level 85 ability to be useful in dungeons and raids-even if I have to spend a talent point for it.

      • Bewildered says:

        Yeah Camo is a bit limited in dungeons and raids. Its utility is mainly PvP and Extreme Soloing. It does nothing for our damage and adding a “first shot out of camo” component wouldn’t be a serious upgrade for PvE. You are right that it lacks. I have no solution to that.

  30. Mabon says:

    I agree that counterattack is dumb and a waste of a talent.. I really like the idea of changing it to some sort of 3 min CD that boosts your damage and maybe gives you a small self heal based on damage done while the buff is up. Also would like to see them fix the scaling issue with SV, maybe change the Dot part of Explosive shot to scale more with attack power. As for BM I think Kill command should be BM only, and it should be changed so that it does x amount of damage plus X bleed damage over lets say 8-10 sec, and make the bleed damage part scale with attack power, also increase the range of kill command to 10 yards or change it to next pet attack. Then you could remove the useless talent that boosts mounted movement speed and put it lower in the tree and make it give the hunter only not the pet a damage boost while the kill command bleed is up.. This would solve a lot of problems with the BM tree.

  31. Mabon says:

    Sorry for the double post, just got another really cool idea for BM aoe, based on the Kill command change I suggested. You could give BM a talent so that if used any tanking pet for an aoe pull, the pets thunderstomp spread the bleed part of the kill command only to every target within 8 yards of the pet..

  32. Poake says:

    Add a selfish component to the group buffs we have to spec into. I would say +2% Agility for speccing into Ferocious Inspiration and Trueshot Aura. It’s not good design for those talents to lack an additional benefit to the hunter.

  33. Killanator says:

    I would love to see a Talent in SV where the first attack u make from Camo is a crictial attack, would give SV a chance to come back to replace something like counterattack like some ppl been saying about camo below me, or some kind of healing move to replace counterattack would be fantastic with that in both Pve and Pvp.

  34. Thuunder says:

    I always do PvP and always in the BM spec. However, I think this idea could have applications in PvE too.

    I would love to see a BM talent that would sort of combine Intervene/Misdirection/Intimidation, perhaps call it “Protect” or “Guard”:

    Allows the hunter to call the pet back to attack whoever is attacking the hunter, causing 4 seconds of disorientation (12 second cooldown – 25 focus), perhaps even add a critical hit aspect to it.

    It would seem to fit the BM spec most but definitely could be for any of the specs, espcially SV. I would think this would fit the game nicely. Shouldn’t your pet be used to protect you first and foremost, make sure your safe and sound, before galloping off to shred some other poor shmuck?

  35. Factoid says:

    I think it would be interesting to have the option to progress further into the other spec’s talents at perhaps a higher cost in order to bring back a little bit of the hybrid builds.

    For example if a survival hunter wants to only spend 30 points in the survival tree and after they reach the bottom of the tree they are given the option of ‘cashing in’ talent points to go further into say the marks tree to grab talents (like Silencing Shot) for 2 points instead of 1. It would really introduce more of those hard decisions that GC was talking about.

  36. Rhaegar says: suggests “survival” means: “a: the act or fact of living or continuing longer than another person or thing”

    …in that vein I think an increase to survival’s survival compared to BM or MM would be appropriate. Random thoughts: increase hp; more evasive talents; more damage reduction; let them wear plate or an analogue; etc.

    Also, SV seems like they should have more persistent traps or the ability to lay two (or more) traps of the same kind… talent points 1, one extra trap; 2, two; 3 points in the talent, can lay 4 traps of the same type. …and trap launcher could launch them in an arc, a straight line (horizontal or vertical), a star pattern, or all stacked one on top of the other, a super trap with time to set up equivalent to an aimed shot or something.

    Another SV idea comes from thinking that survivalists are able to utilize their environment in ways others simply can’t accomplish. So here’s the thought: a talent that augments the hunter based on what type of terrain on which they are standing. Now what that augmentation would be, that’s for us to play with.

    When I combine the thought of a hunter with the thought of a survivalist I don’t necessarily envision “Rambo” but I think of those qualities of evasion, traps, and sneaky deadliness (but without being a rogue with a gun). SV hunters should be able to hide (disappear) better than either BM or MM.

    Overall, SV should have more utilities to survive longer. And to compensate, and this won’t win friends, but they probably shouldn’t be able to be on equal footing DPS-wise as a BM or MM (one has freaking bears, tigers, and spookier things doing battle for them; and the other, that one’s deadliness is all wrapped up in the title “Marksman”. So make SV should do less DPS but survive way better.)

  37. Sidoen says:

    I see people are starting to ask for more and more from their talents. Being able to launch 4 traps at once? We already have the premium CC in the game I do not think that multiplying that by four is going to be balance-able against other specs never mind other classes. Most pulls i can imagine only have 4-6 mobs in them, with your pet and 4 traps you really won’t need any other people in your 5-mans.

    Blizzard is focused on making all specs do equal dps and I think that’s important so making one spec have more health/armor/etc and less dps is not going to fly. Especially when you consider most people who play in PvE care mostly about the dps, that spec would vanish almost entirely. It might have some purpose in soloing or leveling but that is going back to a philosophy that we have abandoned.

    The reason that all specs have been reworked to avoid ideas such as BM for lvling, SV for pvp and MM for dungeons (or whatever) is to prevent restricting our choices. If you like BM and you want to raid then you should be able to. If we start pigeon holing specs into these kinds of ideas again we are going to regret it later.

    • Rhaegar says:

      Good points, Sidoen. I wasn’t considering PvE when I made the 4 trap comment; but even so, it would be too unbalancing. So how about restricting the extra traps to DPS traps? I’m just spit-balling here, thinking of talents that are more in line with what I imagine “SV” means in conjunction with differentiation from BM and MM which have animals and shooting as their thang.

      How would we define the (very) obvious differentiation between the 3 specs:

      BM – pet damage
      MM – gun damage
      SV – ?

      Obviously all hunters are cut from the same cloth so there needs to be overlap and there certainly currently is (as it should be). All hunters have pet damage but one spec specializes in it. All hunters have gun damage but 2 specs specialize in it: MM and SV…but one is better at it and it’s the one that should be given its name. So what niche could the SV hunter have that all hunters do but SV would do better?

      A) bandages
      B) traps
      C) knives
      D) evasion/hit points/armor
      ….omitting guns b/c MM has a lock on that.
      ….omitting pets b/c BM has lock on that.

  38. Hecubus says:

    I’d like to see Silencing Shot become baseline. There are several heroic encounters where we need to silence/interrupt a cast. As a survival hunter, it would be nice to be able to contribute without needing to switch over to MM.

    And yes – survival should get a self heal. Maybe tied into Black Arrow? Some percentage of the damage caused heals the hunter.

  39. hillbillyhatfield says:

    Some nice suggestions. All I have to say is make each tree unique. Starting with least use

    Survival should be that survive. More stam, or even armor. Maybe even let a few pieces of armor be plate(but no more than 1 or 2). And a heal. If someone can smack someone with a sword and heal X% then survival should be able to shoot for X%. It’s only fair. MM does and BM has the option of using a SB. So they should have the highest heal shot. I would make them like in the old days. good both close up with melee abilities and range. Just make those less hard hitting. Make it where a cloth doesn’t want to stand on you.

    MM should be nothing but shots. I wouldn’t mind if the pet was optional in this tree, even traps as well. If a warrior or rogue can kill mail in 4 sec. Then I should be able to shoot mail and kill them in 4 sec. 3 with leather and cloth. It’s only fair and balanced.

    BM should be about the pet. We should have less shots, and traps to be honest. 3 shots and possible 2 traps. serpent, arcane, and cobra. 1 ice and 1 snake. And give us a signature. Or make KC; BM only. BM is the wild man spec, and should be as such. Our pets should reflect what they are. Our bird pets should be able to fly. Meaning bosses that go into the air. The birds should be able to go and attack. There birds. That mechanic is ignorant at the moment when birds can not attack in the air.

    We can cookie cutter any hunter spec now. There is no difference other than a few DPS. It should be certain spec needed for different situations. Now any of them can do anything the other 2 can.

    • Bradagore says:

      Survival giving survivability at a cost to DPS will kill the spec for any serious PvE. BM already suffers for too much pet reliance the moment a boss takes to the air.

  40. Tibbelkrunk says:

    “There are tough choices within the trees of many specs, but there aren’t very many of them within each spec. Often it can come down to where to spend those last 1-3 talent points. While that was our goal, it would be even more exciting if there were more of those hard decisions….”
    “Even worse, one potential place to spend those points is in the first two tiers of the other trees of your class, yet those talents are extremely design-constrained…”

    To me, these are the most interesting points he made. I have been feeling this way since I saw the new smaller trees, and I’m very glad to see the development team admit these drawbacks too.

    “…but imagine you could spend those last 10 points anywhere in another tree. Much more exciting, huh?”

    Now we’re talking!

    For hunters specifically, in my opinion, specific talents should clearly be in line for replacement or redesign:
    – Counterattack (no further explanation necessary)
    – Resistance is Futile (not very useful for MM, would work better in BM if it must stay)
    – Termination (a little extra focus isn’t all that useful in the crowded MM rotation, especially at the end of a fight when we get a free shot anyway, and on top of that, it’s not “exciting” as a 4th tier talent)
    – Kindred Spirits (another particularly bland deep-tree talent)

    I think the talent trees could be made more interesting by widening them. This would give more options at each tier and prevent the “you must take this” talents.

    For example, a MM hunter will always spec into Efficiency in the first tier. It’s not just because it’s so good, but because you simply cannot spend 5 points in the first tier without spending at least 1 in Efficiency.

    More options per tier could make things more interesting.

  41. hillbillyhatfield says:

    I had to come back and comment. This has bothered me since the new trees.

    Why is “go for the throat” and ” sic em” in the MM. They should be in BM.

    why is even pathfinding even in there. It doesn’t stack with the guild perk.

    Crouching tiger should be first tier so every spec can use it for PVP.

    Improved mend should be a passive ability BM has. It should be automatic without having points.

    Snake traps are weak for such a high level ability.

    Sniper training should be in MM

  42. Kirk says:

    I want Steady Shot to grant SOME focus regeneration even if it does not fire because the mob has died too soon. It doesn’t have to be perfectly proportional. In other words if the mob dies while steady shot is 80% of the way to firing, give me 60% of the focus regeneration instead of 80%. I’ve already been punished by not shooting the target and lost DPS. To completely lose out on the focus regeneration just puts me that much further behind on the DPS race. This should help hunters greatly with the trash pulls when mobs die quickly.

  43. Rugasa says:

    The talent trees are a lot better than they were but there are still problems.

    BM – I tend to see Kill Command as the defining “shot” of BM so let it be the level 10 ability rather than Bestial Wrath. I would keep Intimidation but stick it back in the tree. Giving BM a new spell that is a unique attack their pets learn would also be a fun addition to the tree, maybe a cleave and/or an upgrade on bash/swipe/bite. It would fit the model of BM being all about the pet.

    MM – I don’t really like Aimed Shot as the signature shot for the spec but Chimera doesn’t really feel like a signature move either. Maybe make Aimed baseline (especially if KC becomes BM’s signature move) and replace it with a unique shot that provides the ArP MM really misses. Sundering Shot? There should probably be some buff or tweak to Kill Shot in this tree too, maybe removing the cooldown to make it spammable. MM should probably also be the place for talents that work around crit and standing still, rather than SV, as MM should be all about accurate, deliberate, deadly shots

    SV – Everyone has rightly picked out Counterattack for a kick in. I’ve never really understood its persistence expansion to expansion. This tree though is much better than it once was but is still a bit of a weird mix. If BM is all about the pet and MM is the sniper spec, SV should be all about being unstoppable. Lightning attacks that come from nowhere and the ability to disappear again. Mobility, toughness, control, a kit full of tricks that through the opponent off, this is what the SV hunter should be. Right now SV is more of a poor man’s elemental caster. I’d add in: improved ground speed and a Sprint-a-like ability; Caltrops, for an instant, melee AoE daze/snare and bleed DoT; and maybe a shot that knocks back the target and/or slows their movement. Improved stamina and armour also fit and, as several posters have said, a self-heal, probably something along the lines of Recuperate. I’d also replace Black Arrow with a trap, maybe a nasty gas based AoE that has similar effects to Snake Trap.

  44. samMM says:

    i would quite like to see a talent you can dual wield pistols, i know thats been bandied about before, but as rogues and warriors and the like can dual wield their main weapon, i see no reason why hunters shouldn’t be able to dual wield their main weapon :)

  45. Cyworg says:

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned this yet. Posthaste talent should be moved to SV tree in my opinion.

  46. Hunterfaller says:

    Ok, so after seeing the hunter whiskey bottle in a whubbq pic I went out and brought one. I dunno if its on the bottle in the pic, but on my bottle the hunter has two wolves. So I was thinking, maybe BM could have the option of dueling wielding pets, as their final talent? and move bestial wrath as their automatically signature thing at lvl 10.

    • Venom says:


      • Rhaegar says:

        Interesting! Quick take: BM’s have a choice to make, give up their gun/bow and all shots for a second pet.

        …that’s drastic, not well thought out on my part, but it would produce an even more unique hunter. (And I’m not even sure that’s necessary because BM is already pretty well differentiated. But bugger that for a moment: two pets! Swap the gun for a beast master’s whistle :) )

  47. Lornehil says:

    Resistance is Futile needs to be moved to BM (or just plain removed) and replaced in the MM tree by something that makes more sense. You could even keep the mechanic of the proc on moving, simply change the ability that is made free to be Chimera or Aimed, preferably Chimera. (Or possibly a stacking buff that takes seconds off the remaining CD as well as reduces focus cost up to 100% at 3-5 stacks).

    Master Marksmen needs to not be so back-ass-wards random. Either make it 50% with a lower stack (like 2-3) or make it 100% with a larger stack. Or hell, make it just stack a reduction in cast time and focus cost. This could actually make the decision of when to fire more interesting as it might change depending on the situation. Perhaps it’s best to fire at a 50% reduced casting time and focus cost while in stand still burn mode, but in a fight like Atramedes it would be smarter to just build up to instant.

    Something in the MM tree really needs to buff the fuck out of Steady Shot or make it fire much faster than Cobra to make up for the vastly inferior damage, especially in a pvp setting where it crits on 3k resil clothies for about 5-6k. Or give MM talents that make steady stack some sort of armor pen for steadies/auto shot damage only on the target so that plate doesn’t shrug off steadies like feathers dusters.

    Post haste needs to be either a larger movement speed bonus or a longer duration to be close to balanced against the other abilities that are basically the same thing but more powerful. The first step in this however should be making the ability proc when we hit the ground, not when we take off (wasting anywhere from about 1.5 seconds of the buff to the entirety depending on how we use our terrain and/or parachutes); I see this as a bug.
    I made a very in-dept post about all abilities of this ilk (movement speed bonuses on proc or ability use) dicusing long term average gains if you would like to see my reasoning and math on this:

    MM’s play style feels somewhat smooth in pve where the new focus system and our trees where clearly designed to work well but it really starts to show in pvp how clunky a few incredibly key talents are under even the slightest pressure and restriction of our movement. Imo the only tree that flows well and has mostly talents that make sense and feel like they were thought through is SV, but their damage is even worse in pvp, especially considering their 31 point talent is useless (possibly the only 31 point talent in the game right now that a spec doesn’t take for pvp). I haven’t played BM enough to start making judgement calls on most of their mechanics but I can say without a doubt that in a pvp environment and even in a enough pve boss situations for it to be of note, Killing Streak lasts 8 seconds and triggers off and ability that has a 6 second CD. A 2 second window would be considered unacceptable for the mild increase of pressure that that proc would bring on a less than regular basis for most other classes, and especially for a melee in pvp where they can easily be kept out kited for the exact 2 seconds needed if you are paying attention to buffs. And the truth is, because of how Kill Command works, it’s essentially a melee ability.

    The problem is that because our pve numbers are very good for at least one spec, they seem to be assuming that indicates that all the mechanics are working fine and none are at all wonky; with only the numbers being the thing that needs tweaking. The truth is that our highest dps’s spec has the most mechanical issue of any of the hunter trees currently, but blizzard won’t even think about it until we are doing bad in all specs in pve and even then they look to ability damage numbers first before mechanics because they are easier to change than redesigning the tree to innately work better (as they did with changing a wet noodle Aimed Shot to actually be worth while and left it at that. The band-aid worked so they moved on, ignoring the clear issues with talents like Master MM’s function). When they admit specifically there are issues with the talents all hunter’s know are wonky, maybe then I’ll believe they aren’t just looking to quick fix us and actually know they need to rework some of our core talents if we are to remain streamline in the future.

    Blizzard needs to smooth our mechanics out to something less retarded in a few key places, fix bugs that have persisted for far to long (and that they only seem to fix when we really bark off their ears about them), fix focus in pvp (preferably through our pvp 4 set being made into something that isn’t neigh unnoticeable), and fix our damage and survivability in pvp without buffing or nerfing us (at least MM, SV and BM could still use about 3-5k more DPS imo) in pve. The first and last of which are problems that stem mostly from talent tree issues and can and should be fixed instead of ignoring them to take the time to buff already powerful pvp classes (or start to nerf them only to revert the change, essentially wasting time).

  48. Winri says:

    Well, gosh, hasn’t this provoked a debate. Some of it pretty crazy and wish-ey, so I’m just gonna drop down my views on Survival… hope they make sense.

    Sniper training is doodie, I don’t like it. In a tree that’s all about flexibility and movin’ around and coping with with all the icky stuff that nasty folks chuck at us, this talent wants us to stand still all the time. Bluegh… if we wanted to stand still all the time and super-micro-minimise our movement time we’d be MM!
    I’d replace it with an upgrade to Black Arrow so it carries a self-heal, % of the BA damage… makes BA top-happy again without just undoing the last nerf and gives us a change to keep on shootin’ in the face of a snoozy healer.
    Counter-attack really isn’t doing much for us and it totally doesn’t lead on to Mirrored Blades… but a Deterrence upgrade would fit. Shake up the ability to give it more options as a cooldown: self-heal, dispel debuffs as well as protect (nasty poison-spewing doodie-rogues) or maybe build in a last stand-y type thingy to give us a chance of coming out the far side when the healer wakes up.

    Camouflage is fun and helps us get where we need to go to kill stuff without pullin’ too early for Mister Tanky. But what would be even more awesome is if we could slip into Camo from Feign Death without the teeny-tiny window of breaky in which everything around us sees us anyway.
    So that when an Elder Armani Lynx decides to use my “dead body” as a pillow, I can slink off without beggin’ a tank to come save me before it realises I’m still breathing.

  49. Santhear says:

    The attempts by the devs to give hunters something useful when we find ourselves in melee range has failed miserably. Crap like raptor strike, wing clip and the above decried counter attack are useless, worse than useless because it distracts hunters from getting into a position where they can do some good.
    Get rid of minimum range, or give us a talent that allows us to fire at 0 range. That would prevent the rubbish you see in pvp where the first tactic is charge the hunter. We should be getting bonuses to shoot at close range, not being penalised! Why would a lock, or a priest close to hand to hand with anyone, yet that is what happens time and time again. A talent to remove minimum range would be ideal for SV.

    That aside, the MM tree is ok, BM was ok last I played it, the one thing that stands out is the pet trees could use some work. Heart of the phoenix for all pet trees would be a big inclusion, yes, I know even tenacity… why not? It would allow us to fill a utility role in hcs/raids, [off-off tank] which is what hunters have been all about since cata, and not having it available in the so-called pvp tree is a head-scratcher.

  50. LeadballWHU says:

    I don’t rember if it was Arnst or Darkbrew, but MM dual wileding pistols and no min range…. Sweet consept. Id give up my stat stick for that!

  51. ascanius says:

    While i have not played SV much or BM for that matter, Specced MM twice for pvp and pve, i think a good idea for SV talents would be along the lines of aggro control. Time and time again im always having to pick up adds, which is a pain because i usually have to out do the healers aggro to pull adds so i can kite them. maybe add a talent that allows the hunter to get large amounts of aggro on adds for kite pulls and the like, and another that would transfer all aggro to tank for all mobs/adds that are attacking the hunter instead of just the hunters target on damage. I know tanks wont like this but im not saying anything that would compete with the tank for aggro, just something that would give it a boost to get multiple adds quick. A tiered MD of sorts maybe. I think a large part of SV survival could benefit from increased aggro control. Also adding a talent for Disengage would be useful. have three or even two tiers that increase the distance the hunter jumps back to something useful for pvp, unless my back i down a hill its useless for multiple enemies, and have it drop you from combat as long as you don’t attack that target, another idea for SV maybe.
    While i haven’t played the other two classes that much i do like the idea of each class being distinct as in BM pet tank, MM dps, and SV survival as has been stated previously in multiple comments above. But one thing is certain they need to get rid of counter attack, and give us something useful while in melee range.

  52. Rco says:

    I would make BM melee only. Fight along with your pet and occasionally transform to OR unite with your pet gaining unique abilities.

    ~Love your blog btw

    • Lornehil says:

      If any tree should be melee it should be SV imo. Duel wield axes or swords that are slow/slow or slow/fast, but definitely fast/fast. If BM was going to go feral and fight next to their pet there wouldn’t be any weapons involved I would think.

      • Hunterfaller says:

        They could use claw weapons and get bonuses for using them. Maybe also daggers.

  53. Nimal says:

    I think we have to let go on the talenttree-naming (for example, don’t see Survival as the tree that has to survive more than other trees). Our main task is doing IMBA damage, the way the trees differ is in what way we accomplish that. A better (not ideal) naming would be Beast – Physical – Elemental (Fire)

    Blizzard wants us to use every spec in every situation…..The way the trees are build now are never going to achieve that goal. Why? BM will always fail on flying bosses and Surv will be superior on AoE. So you’ll have to find a way to make the signature shots, 31-abilities, AoE-abilities and short Cooldown-abilities all the same but with a treespecific flavor. It’ll bring the trees closer together when handling identical situations (Flying mobs, AoE, etc).

    Before I’m going deeper into the different trees, I have some overall issues:
    – Arcane Shot? Rly? I thought we left the manabar some time ago. Better rename it into Unstable Shot, standing unstable definetly ruins your focus.
    – Sniper Training is screaming for MM.
    – Take Silencing Shot out of the MM-tree and make it usable for all trees. We so need reliable interrupts on a short CD.

    And now we can go deeper…

    BM Signature:
    Bestial Wrath would be a great signature for BM, but not ideal. The signatures for MM and Surv are both shots and will devastate BM during flight-phases. For the record, I don’t wanna be nitpicking, but I just want to get rid of situations where people CAN say: “You HAVE to pick THAT talenttree for THIS fight…”
    I would give BM a whole new shot: Meat Shot, an instant shot that covers the mob with the smell of fresh meat. Your pets will go ballistic, doing more damage. In addition to that, other beasts in a 10 yard radius of the smelly mob, will go ballistic too. ^_^

    BM 31-talent:
    Beast Mastery is a great talent, but I would like it to add/open up an extra tier in the pet’s talenttree. A tier in which you can enable flight-abilities for flying pets (so you have pets who can attack flying bosses), extra pets, an extra AoE-talent for AoE-fights, or even a PvP-orientated talent.

    BM AoE:
    Multi-shot for BM sucks atm, but combined with the extra AoE-damage from a pettalent, discussed above, it would be great. Or what about synergy of Multi-shot with Meat Shot?

    BM short CD:
    Bestial Wrath baby!

    MM Signature:
    Aimed Shot, hard and physical, what more do you want?

    MM 31-talent:
    Wouldn’t you want a physical DPS talent for MM rather than a sissy magic one?
    What about Piercing Shot? Yeh, remove the original talent and make it an imba 31-talent with instant damage and a bleed DoT. You can make Steady Shot the “refresh-skill” (just the way Cobra refreshes Serpent Sting) for the bleedeffect and make Aimed Shot do extra damage on bleeding targets (synergy FTW).
    And indeed, no more Serpent Sting for MM. A non-physical DoT being refreshed by a non-physical instant shot? Where’s the physical deeps in there?

    MM AoE:
    A little tweaking of Bombardment and all is fine.

    MM short CD:
    Rapid Fire duh.

    Surv Signature:
    Explosive shot is a great signature for a non-physical orientated tree. Although I would like the picture changed. FFS, a piece of dynamite bound to an arrow? Explosive shot, it’s the reason explosive rounds were made.

    Surv 31-talent:
    The description of Survival says: “A rugged tracker who favors using animal venom, explosives and traps as deadly weapons.” Explosives and Traps are all covered in the tree, but I do not see any use of animal venom anywhere. I would like to see this in the 31-talent-ability. Maybe in a way poisons from Rogues work, but then added to your ranged weapon and with that special enchant, the shot will add a debuff to the mob.

    Surv AoE:
    No tweaks needed.

    Surv short CD:
    Surv definetly needs a short CD ability. I’m not really sure what, but BM has more damage, MM has more hits, so that would leave Surv with a CD that gives more or bigger crits.

    I’m almost certain that my ideas totally fucks up the whole class balance in terms of damage, but that wasn’t the issue :P

    Well, I’m sorry for the wall of text, but this shows, that our class still needs some love. At least IMHO.

    • Kalven and Hobs says:

      Yes, very nice text wall. The only thing I really have is that SV gets Wyvrn Sting, and buffs to Serpent Sting. This would be the animal venom reference.

  54. Venom says:


    Wild Quiver now has a 16.8% chance to proc, up from 14.4%. Each point of Mastery increases the chance by an additional 2.1%, up from 1.8%.
    Careful Aim now only works on targets above 90% health, up from 80%.


    Black Arrow damage has been increased by 40%. Now scales from 13.3% of AP, up from 9.5%.

    Survival buff!

  55. Bradagore says:

    It would be nice to have “exotic” pets tameable by anyone, but only giving the extra exotic ability to BM hunters. And then – – – maybe all pets could have an exotic ability unlockable by BM hunters at 70… yes, the devs would positively relish putting all that in.

  56. Kalven and Hobs says:

    I’m not sure why this bothers me so much, but people need to understand that being a sniper entails more survival ability than marksman ability. Anyone can shoot well. Not anyone can shoot well from 2k meters after sneaking into and sitting in a bombed out building, drinking your own piss for days.

    Not really drinking piss, just a cheap Bear Grylls joke.

    Anyway, I just had the though of making silencing shot a lower tier MM talent, so it’s accessible to all Hunter spec the way Aimed Shot was.

    What I’d like to see added to the SV tree is something like Dirty Fighting from Dragon Age: Origins. A quick backhand (yes, melee) that stuns (not dazes!) the target long enough to get some range. Hell, make it a knockback.